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"Ripping Yarns" (1976) More at IMDbPro »TV series 1976-1979

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Ripping Yarns: :  -- Trailer for Ripping Yarns


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Release Date:
7 January 1976 (UK) See more »
Ripping Yarns is a collection of tales that make for 'ripping good' television. Michael Palin plays a different lead character in each yarn.
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Palin's answer to Fawlty Towers See more (5 total) »


 (Series Cast Summary - 2 of 5)

Michael Palin ... Bank Manager / ... (9 episodes, 1976-1979)
Charles McKeown ... 2nd native / ... (4 episodes, 1977-1979)

Series Directed by
Jim Franklin (5 episodes, 1976-1979)
Terry Hughes (2 episodes, 1976-1977)
Alan J.W. Bell (2 episodes, 1979)
Series Writing credits
Terry Jones (9 episodes, 1976-1979)
Michael Palin (9 episodes, 1976-1979)

Series Produced by
Sydney Lotterby .... executive producer (2 episodes, 1979)
Series Original Music by
Dave Howman (1 episode, 1979)
André Jacquemin (1 episode, 1979)
Trevor Jones (1 episode, 1979)
Series Film Editing by
John Jarvis (4 episodes, 1977-1979)
Ray Millichope (3 episodes, 1976-1977)
Series Production Design by
Martin Collins (3 episodes, 1976-1977)
Gerry Scott (2 episodes, 1979)
Series Costume Design by
Barbara Lane (2 episodes, 1977)
Robin Stubbs (2 episodes, 1977)
Roger Reece (2 episodes, 1979)
Series Makeup Department
Jean Speak .... makeup artist (5 episodes, 1977)
Sue Bide .... makeup artist (3 episodes, 1977)
Jill Hagger .... makeup artist (2 episodes, 1979)
Series Art Department
Ian Hewett .... graphic designer / graphics designer (3 episodes, 1977-1979)
John Stout .... design (2 episodes, 1977)
Series Sound Department
Ron Edmonds .... dubbing mixer (5 episodes, 1977-1979)
Ron Blight .... sound recordist / film recordist / ... (4 episodes, 1976-1979)
Bryan Showell .... sound recordist (4 episodes, 1977)
Series Visual Effects by
John Horton .... visual effects (4 episodes, 1977-1979)
Series Stunts
Stuart Fell .... stunts (2 episodes, 1977-1979)
Series Camera and Electrical Department
Peter Hall .... film cameraman (6 episodes, 1976-1977)
Mike Radford .... photography (2 episodes, 1979)
Alan Stevens .... photography (2 episodes, 1979)
Series Costume and Wardrobe Department
Barbara Lane .... costumes (1 episode, 1977)
Lynda Woodfield .... costumes (1 episode, 1977)
Valerie Bonner .... costumes (1 episode, 1979)
Series Editorial Department
Dan Rae .... film editor (1 episode, 1979)
Series Music Department
William Walton .... composer: theme music "Fanfare from Facade Suite No.1" (9 episodes, 1976-1979)
Series Other crew
John Adams .... production assistant (3 episodes, 1976-1979)
Eddie Stuart .... production assistant (3 episodes, 1977)
Marcus Plantin .... production assistant (2 episodes, 1977)
Carol Abbott .... director's assistant (2 episodes, 1979)
Sue Bennett-Urwin .... production assistant (2 episodes, 1979)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
30 min (9 episodes)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The opening title music for the series is "Fanfare" from William Walton's Facade Suite No.2See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in What the Pythons Did Next... (2007) (TV)See more »
Façade, Suite No. 2 - FanfareSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
27 out of 27 people found the following review useful.
Palin's answer to Fawlty Towers, 25 March 2004
Author: Lupercali from Tasmania

In the early years of the post Monty Python split, everybody went on to their solo projects, with greater or lesser success. Although Cleese's 'Fawlty Towers' is rightly celebrated as one of the greatest sitcoms of all time, Michael Palin and Terry Jones's 'Ripping Yarns (same period, also two seasons) gives it a very close run for its money - especially for those who prefer the surreal Palin/Jones Oxford humour to the slightly more orthodox Cleese/Chapman Cambridge style.

'Ripping Yarns' is basically a send up of 'Boys Own' style between-the-wars boys adventure magazines, which might not make a great deal of sense to American audiences, but when I played the episode 'Winfrey's Last Case' to a friend in San Diego he was almost reduced to tears.

There were twelve(?) 'Ripping Yarns' stories, and one shouldn't infer anything from that. Each of the episode/stories was entirely different and unique; almost a mini-movie based on a generic Boy's Own/Chums 1920-30's tale. A couple of them ('Across the Andes by Frog', for example) fall slightly short, but most of them are inspired works of genius.

There is 'Tomkinsons's School Days', where the horrors of British public school life are parodied to hilarious effect (have you ever built an Icebreaker in metalwork class?), 'Golden Gordon', about a football-obsessed father who smashes his house to pieces every time his team loses (which they've done every week since about 1913), 'Winfrey's Last Case' - a hilarious Biggles type adventure about spies on the Dorset coast, Escape From Stalag 117' (or something), a tearfully funny send-up of 'The Great Escape' type yarns, and perhaps the most celebrated episode 'The Testing of Eric Orthwaite', where a boring young northern man obsessed with rain gauges and shovels is thrust into a life of crime to impress his love interest. It sports the unforgettable newspaper headline:

'Orthwaite gang strikes again: Bank manager tells of night of boredom'

(This episode has just a few shades of Woody Allen's 'Take the Money and Run')

Pound for pound, 'Ripping Yarns' stacks up against any British comedy series of the 70's, and proves that Palin was the best actor of the Python crew, and along with Cleese and maybe Jones, the best writer.

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